English Department Chooses Two Winners for Its Fourth Creepy Conference
“Our students did an amazing job,” stated Dr. Sylvia Pamboukian,
Four contestants, Nikki Weis, Sara Gunkel, Kenya Johns and Marulla Quirk, along with Professor Gavin Buxton and the Rooney scholar, Luca Guardabascio, participated in the event.
Although only one student usually win the contest, two students, Johns and Gunkel, were chosen this year because of a tie between them.
“We generally look at students who capture the idea of scholarly gothic best,” explained Pamboukian regarding how they picked the winners.
The judges were all of the part-time and mostly full-time faculty members from the English Department who attended the conference. Among them were Pamboukian, Dr. A. J. Grant and Professor Jim Vincent.
“I definitely was suprised,” said Gunker, a senior at RMU, regarding winning the contest. “I didn’t expect to capture many people’s attention.”
For her presentation, Gunker discussed the the ethnology of Harry Potter’s characters, in which she explained the possible origin of the characters’ names.
“I’ve always liked Harry Potter in high school,” explained Gunter on the reason for choosing this topic. “There was always an interest that struck upon me.”
Johns’ presentation involved a series of photos of light that she photoshopped to evoke mystery from.
“It’s a look at the worldwide light curiosity,” said Johns, a senior majoring in Media Arts.
Weis’ presentation was on the narrative of the supernatural of Charlotte from England. She explained the fiction from a real life story of the murder of a woman, Charlotte Dymond, and the trial of her lover, Matthews Weeks.
“There’s actual court record,” Weis, a sophomore majoring in English, explained. “A lot of research is done on how the trial went.”
Weeks was accused of the murder, and was hung as a result.
Quirk, a first year student majoring in Marketing, decided to read a short thriller story that she wrote two years ago, and prolonged for the conference.
“I was a little nervous,” she said.
Buxton did a psychic presentation, in which he chose a member of the audience to pick a card for him to guess what it was. He also mentioned his new research project, which will involve understanding radioactivity in bananas.
After the presentation of the contestants and Buxton, Guardabascio, presented a short movie that he filmed, Dismophorbia, which was inspired by “The Twilight Zone.”
“I… [showed] something that I shot seven years ago,” Guardabascio explained.
The winners of the conference received each a Barnes and Noble gift card from the English Department.
“I think it’s great the English Department does stuff like this,” said Weis. “Hopefullly, more people will get interested in the department.”